Gerald H. Baker
Gerald Baker is one of the most able and high-profile personal injury attorneys in the nation. Animated, ever cheerful and possessing a great sense of purpose, Baker has deep roots in fighting for the legal rights of workers and victims of negligence. Son of the prominent, street-smart Hoboken attorney Nathan Baker, Jerry has his own pedigree – he went to Cornell University and later Yale Law School. (“It’s all I knew and all I ever wanted to do,” says Baker about becoming an attorney.) Jerry’s father represented immigrant families of longshoremen and seamen and built a reputation as a leading admiralty law attorney.
By 1982 Jerry had succeeded his father as managing partner of the firm, which was founded in the 1920s. Over the years, Baker’s cases have included groundbreaking personal-injury cases, and major high-profile claims as well. He has represented the families of TWA Flight 800, Korean Airlines Flight 007 and Egyptair Flight 990. Such cases routinely led to seven-figure settlements, and bolstered Baker’s reputation as one of the nation’s leaders of personal-injury law.
In 2002, he obtained a verdict of $53 million against Conrail in a wrongful death case representing the family of a conductor who was survived by a wife and two young children. This was the largest wrongful death verdict in the history of New Jersey and one of the top 50 verdicts in the United States in 2002. Baker is New Jersey’s foremost expert on automobile insurance and he has argued many cases as amicus curiae on behalf of ATLA-NJ and the New Jersey State Bar Association.
Baker’s wood-paneled office, cluttered with case files, looks out over the Hudson river and New York City. (On the morning of September 11, Baker was on the last subway train to pass under The World Trade Center; today he represents, at no charge, the families of several 9/11 victims.) Indeed, Baker is passionate about his profession’s abiding virtue – that of affecting social justice and social change.
His firm’s four partners all focus on personal-injury law, and each year they handle scores of cases, including aviation, automobile, railroad, products liability, medical malpractice and maritime law. He was born, raised and resides in New Jersey.
- Cornell University, 1964, B.A.
- Yale Law School, 1967, J.D.
- New Jersey State Bar
- New York State Bar
- Inaugural Gerald B. O’Connor Trial Award from NJAJ, 2015
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2007 to 2013
- American Trial Lawyers Association, Gold Medal, 1994
- Hudson County Bar Association, Merit Award, 1998
- New Jersey State Bar Association, Distinguished Legislative Service Award, 1998
- Million Dollar Advocates Forum, 1998
- New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Alfred C. Clapp Laureate, 2000
- American Bar Association
- New Jersey State Bar Association, 1988 – 1992 (Board of Trustees)
- New Jersey State Bar Association (Chair, Automobile Reparations Committee)
- New York State Bar Association
- Association of Trial Lawyers of New Jersey, 1985 – Present (Board of Governors)
- Roscoe Pound Foundation
- Hudson County Bar Association, 1970 – Present (Board of Trustees)
- Hudson County Bar Association, 1983 (President)
- “Ethics for the NJ Criminal Attorney,” Lawline.com, December 27, 2012
- Speaker, NJAJ Educational Foundation, “Ethics & Professionalism for Criminal Attorneys”, April 26, 2012
- Co-Chair, NJAJ Educational Foundation, “Criminal Law Seminar”, April 26 & 27, 2012
- Overcoming Ethical Dilemmas Facing Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys, New Jersey Association for Justice, scheduled for April 2011
- Ethics and Professionalism for Criminal Practitioners, New Jersey Association for Justice, November 2010
- Walk In Their Shoes: A Defense Attorney’s Advice for Prosecutors, Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, October 2010
- Handling a Criminal Case from Arrest to Sentencing, Essex County Bar Association, October 2010
- Building Your Case at the Initial Stage, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, September 2010
- Advocating in a Modern World, Newark Academy Cum Laude Society, June 2010
- Electronic Discovery in Civil and Criminal Matters, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, April 2010
- Do’s & Don’ts of Cross-Examination, New Jersey Association for Justice, April 2010
- Pre-Indictment Strategies, New Jersey Association for Justice, November 2009
- Blog On: How the Internet Has Changed Civil and Criminal Litigation Forever, Essex County Bar Association, October 2009
- White Collar Crime, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, September 2009
- Discovering Unburied Treasure on Social Networking Web Sites, American Association for Justice, published May 2009
- Evidentiary and Other Issues Arising in New Jersey Criminal Trials, New Jersey State Bar Association, November 2008
- Grand Jury Practice, Union County Bar Association, May and February 2008
- Criminal Trials, Essex County Bar Association, March 2008